U.S. Navy 1942–1946
Fresh out of high school, Elliot Baldwin enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942 and was accepted into the Navy V-12 program at Colgate University, completing his sophomore year before being assigned to Midshipman’s School, and then receiving training in navigation. In May 1945, he shipped out to the Philippines and caught up with the Third Fleet off the coast of Japan in July 1945, where he transferred to the USS South Dakota. In Tokyo Bay he witnessed the preparations for the Japanese surrender ceremonies, keeping a journal during the weeks leading up to the signing and the signing itself. On September 2, 1945, he stood on the bridge of the USS South Dakota and watched the proceedings taking place on the USS Missouri a few hundred yards away and described the thrill of seeing every available airplane fly over the ships to signal the end of the war.